Through LibraryThing, I was lucky enough to snag an advance reader's edition of Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag by Michael Tonello. It is scheduled for release by Harper Collins on April 22, 2008. I posted a discussion/review at LibraryThing in their Early Reviewers group. It's not as fancy as most of the reviewers probably do. But you all know what little time I actually have to even think straight. So, I like to think this is my small part in getting the word out. Here it is:
I love this genre. It's a little memoir. It's a little travel. It's someone who is not famous, not a celebrity, hasn't won the Nobel Prize, writing about something interesting that he happened to do in his life. Interesting that is if you think being a Hermes (please excuse the lack of accent on the "e") reseller on eBay is interesting. And I have to say, it was and I did!
This book works in my opinion because Tonello wasn't an Hermes snob and could find the humor in this rather outrageous obsession with everything Hermes. I enjoyed his writing style and only had to laugh at some over-the-top corniness once - p. 87: "His voice was soft, but it carried. It carried more than any expensive bag could. Juan's voice carried love, and it went right to my heart." It makes me laugh even now.
I googled Tonello and found out he is 15 years older than I am, and I have to say, with his personality and sense of humor, I would have guessed him to be closer to my age. Not that soon-to-be 50 year-olds (hey! my own husband is going to be 46 this year!) are either old or not funny, but you know what I mean . . .I won't put in any spoilers on how the book ended. :^)
Tonello blogs at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/. On February 8, 2008, he wrote a book-related post, which I found interesting.
19 hours ago